The anger brought forth from so many Americans by the prospect of Obama's very modest health care reform is the darkness of unreason breaking out in another way. Fear is a poison, and millions of Americans feel beset by forces they cannot understand or control. Their jobs depend on the mysterious operations of merchant bankers and international traders, their neighborhoods are full of strangers, their government is in the hands of people they do not trust. All of this makes them afraid, and their fear turns to hatred of enemies they mostly imagine. That they don't have a clue what Obama is actually proposing is, for them, another good reason to be afraid. The intricacies of thousand-page Congressional bills are another one of the mysterious forces acting against them, another reason to be afraid, another reason to hate.
Since America is going to continue in the directions they fear -- less dominated by whites, less rural, more international, more bureaucratic -- I don't know what can be done to ease the fears and hatreds of these people. In the short term there is nothing to do but outvote them and try to take care of their real needs, like health care, and hope that most of them can become accustomed to the 21st century world.